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Education

Teaching

I currently teach a writing-intensive course in Animal Behavior (EEB 3412W), focusing on engaging students in the scientific process, in addition to communicating foundational concepts in behavior. This class is taught each spring.

I am also working to develop a non-majors course on "Evolutionary Biomimicry: exploring biodiversity for solutions to modern problems." This course will explore what we can learn from the diverse solutions organisms have evolved to a wide range of problems. We will focus on the use of evolutionary principles to discover novel solutions and determine limits to possible applications. We will cover issues such as cancer, diabetes, energy, crop development, pest control, flight and transportation, architecture and material science. I am currently teaching this class as an honors seminar.


Outreach

I am very interested in sharing the importance of science and biological diversity to a general audience.  To this end I enjoy giving public talks on topics such as insect learning and behavior, the importance of entomology, and bird identification and conservation. I also like to engage people in hands-on activities that display insect or avian diversity, plant-insect interactions, and methods of biological research. 

I organize an outreach fair each year at the Animal Behavior Society. As an example of the types of activities developed for these events please see Caitlin Kight's blog entry on the 2011 event in Bloomington, IN or Felicity Muth's blog entry on the 2013 event in Boulder, CO.

I am organizing an outreach fair for the 2015 ABS conference in Anchorage, Alaska. Please contact me if you are interested in participating!

A visitor lands on Lauren after a butterfly release at Wonderlab's "Adventures in Animal Behavior"
(photo by Naama Levy, Indiana Daily Student)


Conservation Outreach 

I feel that biologists can make significant contributions to conservation by volunteering their abilities to identify organisms and thus prioritize land for preservation and evaluate conservation strategies.  During graduate school, I organized an ongoing effort to survey the flora and fauna of a recently acquired preserve in Northern Sonora, Mexico (see the SIAC website for more info).

conducting plant and insect surveys at Los Fresnos, Sonora